Teaching AI to Enhance Students’ Understanding of Organizational Behavior

By Joy Benson and Sally Dresdow.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Communication is an important skill for business students to acquire. Often student learning takes the form of reading and practicing concepts from a chapter in an organizational behavior text or practicing professional writing and presentation skills in a business communication course. This paper discusses how to develop a learning experience grounded in Appreciative Inquiry [AI] that provides opportunities for students to use their AI knowledge to more effectively develop their understanding of and skill in multiple organizational behavior concepts.

Appreciative Inquiry is a developmental approach that is grounded in dialogue rather than conversation or debate. AI generates images that affirm the forces that give life and energy to a system. AI does not ask organization members to solve their problems. What it does ask them to do is to reflect on their environment. Then the AI process helps organizational members to develop a vision as to how to change their organization.

The construct of AI provides a perceptual frame that can be used to increase students’ ability to understand the interpersonal dynamics associated with 1) the context and process elements of team effectiveness, 2) leadership -- especially the characteristics of transformational leaders, 3) change management – especially the transition in the psychological process of transition, and 4) strategic management in learning organizations. In addition, grounding students’ learning in AI reduces their focus on identifying communication as a problem and helps them understand that effective communication can be used as leverage for organizational success.

Keywords: Appreciative Inquiry, Organizational Behavior

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp.195-204. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 846.520KB).

Dr. Joy Benson

Assistant Professor, College of Business and Economics, Universtiy of Wisconsin, River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

I brought over 20 years of management experience in the non-profit arena to my University teaching. My interests include integrative thinking/strategic thinking. I focus on integrating contemporary practitioner tools into a traditional university environment.

Dr. Sally Dresdow

Assistant Professor, College of Technology, Engineering and Management, University of Wisconsin Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA


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